Project Olinda

Integrated action to promote sustainable tourism as a tool for social and economic integration and valorization of land in the urban area of Olinda and the rural area of Ipojuca. Pernambuco State- (BRAZIL).

icon-home Country: Brazil
icon-flag Site: Urban area of Olinda and rural area of Ipojuca (Pernambuco State)
icon-calendar Period: 2009 – 2011
icon-group Partners: Lunuz
icon-euro Sponsors: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lombardy Region

The state of Pernambuco (capital city Recife), is one of the 26 federated states of Brazil , located in the North-Eastern part of the country.
The city of Olinda, 8 km North from Recife, is one of the most charming and best conserved colonial centers of  Brazil: its historical center attracts numerous tourists  but traditional forms of art and culture are neglected, remaining confined to their followers and therefore threatened with extinction.
The municipality of Ipojuca is located in the metropolitan Region of Recife and its development is strictly relying on sugarcane growing and craft processing of its side products, but services and tourism are also important for this area.
However, the growth of tourism in Olinda and Ipojuca did not lead to shared economic and social development: the increase of per capita average income (+21% from 1991 to 2008) widened the gap between the richest citizens and the vast majority of people. Beside concentrating the wealth produced in few hands, the tourism pattern proposed by tour operators appears somewhat banalizing: notably, it does not valorize local culture and art forms, that are threatened with extinction.

The general objective is to contribute to the fight against poverty and to reduce the social marginalization of families in the urban area of Olinda and the rural area of Ipojuca. In this perspective, the specific objective is to develop and spread a tourism pattern based on the direct involvement of marginalized families in designing and managing the tourism offer, valorizing and repossessing local traditional culture.

The project provided direct benefits to a wide range of social actors in the neighborhoods around the historical center of Olinda and the rural area of Ipojuca, focusing on the most vulnerable groups. Activities included training on the offer of tourist services, sensibilization and communication on the issue of responsible tourism, the valorization of cultural and natural heritage.

Achieved results
The project organized vocational training courses in the tourist industry, created an incubator to establish a cooperative agency of services related to responsible tourism, and revitalized degraded areas  of significant historical interest. The implementation of promotion and sensibilization on sustainable tourism led to international exchanges also involving the academic world.